What was once exclusively for Lopez writers has been expanded to all of San Juan County. SHARK REEF, the online literary publication of the Lopez Writers Guild, has opened submissions up to writers from all the San Juan Islands. The e-zine was launched in 2001 as a way to provide an audience for Lopez Island writers and good writing for audiences everywhere.
There are now be two annual submitting deadlines, June 30 and December 31, and two issues: fall and spring. The number of issues annually may increase in the future but for now, editors are committing to twice a year.
Lorna Reese, one of the founders of the Lopez Writers Guild, will be editor of the transformed magazine and a different guest editor will be chosen for each edition. For the fall issue, the co-editor is JoEllen Moldoff from Orcas Island. JoEllen is a poet who organizes numerous writing events on Orcas.
“We are rich, here in the islands, in writers exploring the human condition in various ways and putting our resulting adventures on the page. We have stories to tell,” said Reese.
SHARK REEF has been read by people all over the world. One college professor in Germany even asked permission to use one of its memoirs, My Dirty Little Secret, in an English writing class. His request was granted.
So far, there have been ten issues of SHARK REEF with the following themes: On Memory, Children’s Issue, Poetry and Drama, Turning Points, Special 9/11 Issue, Secrets and Songs, What Is…, Loves Me, Loves Me Not, House and Home, and Journeys. The Special 9/11 issue was part of a double issue. SHARK REEF has published 27 Lopez writers and 17 Lopez children.
Each issue of SHARK REEF is accompanied by visual art. Past artists have included Nils Benson, Sylvia Chesley-Smith, Hildegard Goss, Kimie Jenks, Cynthia Marin, Kate Scott, Richard Singer, and collages from a Lopez writers group. Art will also will be open to submissions from artists on the other San Juan Islands.
The website has also been redesigned and a new URL is being used: sharkreef.org. The earlier URL, lopezwritersguild.com, will be discontinued once the Archives have been brought into the new site. The new format also includes an RSS feed for those readers who wish to subscribe to the magazine using their favorite feed reader.
Lopez Writers Guild does not pay for published work. For information on submitting, see the Submit page. The Archives are currently located at lopezwritersguild.org. They will soon be included here in the new site.